Public Participation at Meetings
Do you have a point to make about issues in the Winchester district? If so then you might be interested in the public participation sessions held at the beginning of Winchester City Council's Committee meetings. Read on to find out more.
You are now able to listen in live to most council meetings via the council’s website and the video recording will be publicly available on the council's YouTube channel shortly after the meeting. If you wish to attend a meeting (whether to speak or just observe) you are required to register in advance. Details of how you can get involved for each meeting will be available on the agenda which is published in advance. All our meetings are listed here.
How do I attend or participate in meetings
To allow us to set everything up and ensure that everything will run smoothly, we do ask that you register by 5pm (4.30pm for Planning Committee meetings) at least three clear working week days in advance prior to attending and/or asking a question (and by noon, four clear working week days before meetings of Full Council).We will then send you an email confirming the details on how you can attend.
To tell us you wish to attend a meeting and/or submit your question, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, your question and the meeting you want to get involved in.
Please email email@example.com – we will need you to give us your name and contact details, your question, and the meeting that you want to take part in.
Further details about public participation can be found on the right-hand side of this page.
How do I make my views known?
Public Participation allows you the opportunity to make a statement or ask questions during a 15 minute period prior to the formal business of the meeting.
The names of members of the public etc who have registered to address committee meetings will appear in the minutes as part of the public record, which will include on the council’s website. Those wishing to address a committee meeting who object to their names being made available in this way must notify the Democratic Services Officer either when registering to speak, or within 10 days of this meeting.
You can listen to the live audio stream of council meetings via winchester.gov.uk. Most Council meetings are held in the Guildhall, Winchester and you are required to register in advance to attend in person or speak (see above).
All of the council's main Committee meetings, have public participation i.e.
- The Scrutiny Committee
- Audit and Governance Committee
- Licensing and Regulation Committee*
- Planning Committee*
- Business and Housing Policy Committee
- Health and Environment Policy Committee
- Winchester Town Forum
*For Licensing & Regulation Committee, and Licensing Sub-Committees, there is a special procedure for dealing with public participation on individual licensing applications.
*For Planning Committee, there is a special procedure for dealing with public participation on individual planning applications. Please contact the Public Speaking Co-ordinator in the Planning Control Division on 01962 848 339 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Can anyone speak?
Yes, details about how to do this are above.
How long can I speak for?
Unless time permits, questions and statements will be limited to 3 minutes each (the length of time permitted is at the discretion of the Chairperson). Second questions on the same topic will not normally be allowed, but again the Chairperson has discretion to allow supplementary questions if appropriate.
Do I have to give notice before the meeting?
You can submit a question in advance of at any public meeting that includes this option. We do ask that this request is with us by 5pm (4.30pm for Planning Committee) at least three clear working week days (and by noon, four clear working week days before meetings of Full Council) before the meeting date so we can set everything up and ensure that everything can run smoothly. If your question is selected, we will then send you an email confirming the details on how to attend and take part.
To submit your question, please email email@example.com with your name, your question and the meeting you want to get involved in.
Are there any situations when I cannot speak?
Subject to the exceptions mentioned below, questions may be asked or statements made on anything which is the responsibility of the Committee you attend. But the same question or statement cannot be put at every meeting. This is to give everyone the opportunity to make statements or ask questions. If the sessions are to be used constructively, there is a need to avoid repetition and small pressure groups using them just to seek publicity. There are also limitations relating to questions about current applications, personal cases and confidential matters.
Will I get a full reply to my question?
We will attempt to respond to any statement or question at the meeting, but sometimes research may be necessary before a full answer can be given. If this is the case, we will write to you after the meeting if you leave your name and address, or email. If you require a full reply to your question on the day, please let us know at least 3 clear working days before the meeting you will be attending. If too many people attend and you do not get the chance to ask your question, then provided you have given your name, address and details of your question, we will be pleased to write to you after the meeting. A copy of your question and answer will also be circulated to all councillors who serve on the Committee you attended.
Presentation of Petitions
The city council welcomes petitions and recognises that they are one way in which people can let us know their concerns. A petition to the council may be presented on any matter in relation to which the council has powers or duties, or which affects the Winchester district.
Who can submit a petition?
Any of the following may present a petition:
- Any member of the council
- Any local government elector of the Winchester district
- Any resident of the Winchester district
- Any person who works or studies within the Winchester district.
- All councils have a legal duty to respond to petitions and so the city council has produced the following guidance note on how we will do this, including information about the numbers of signatories required.
Please call 01962 848 264 and ask to speak to the Democratic Services Officer for the meeting you wish to attend. Alternatively you may write to the Democratic Services Team Manager at the City Offices, Colebrook Street, Winchester, SO23 9LJ, who will be pleased to arrange a reply to be sent to you. If you wish to discuss an issue with your local district councillor but do not know his or her name, please telephone Democratic Services on 01962 848 264 or email firstname.lastname@example.org